How long does it normally take to start getting new customers?
Q: I have been coaching and working in the horse business for some time, and I recently decided to take the plunge and open my own boarding stable to offer full-care board and training. However, I'm about an hour away from where I've been doing business, and I'm having trouble getting my business out there. I have a website and have been posting on Facebook. How long does it normally take to start getting customers?
A: Typically, it takes about 90 days before you to start to see a change because of your marketing. Some of the things that I recommend to new businesses is to host an event of some sort (an open house, a clinic, or a party around a holiday). Something that brings bodies to your new place of business.
The other thing that I recommend is to attend local horse shows. If you have some good horses to compete, that can be a really good way to attract new clients because they can see what you are about.
Use some of the less expensive marketing tactics like posting flyers at the local feed and tack stores. Just going out and meeting other local business owners can be very helpful. Another place that a lot of people don't think about that can be very successful are really large businesses such as hospitals. Maybe you have a customer who works at the hospital, we'd ask them to post our flyer in their lounge. It's amazing how those small guerrilla marketing tactics can really do a great job, and they're really not that expensive.
Finally, you mentioned that you have a web presence, which is great. The one thing that I would make sure that you had was a listing in Google Places, which is a free local business listings. It enables you to put a little more detailed advertising information such as photos, videos and customer reviews. Also, make sure that you have a very clear call to action on your website for your users. For more ideas on how to market your horse business, download our 150 Marketing Tools and Jewels e-book.
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